DreamWorks Animation today announced the acquisition of writers Alan Schoolcraft & Brent Simons’ superhero send-up Master Mind, which was brought to the company by Lara Breay at Red Hour Films, the production entity of producing partners Ben Stiller and Stuart Cornfeld. Red Hour will collaborate with DreamWorks Animation in developing and producing the project.
DreamWorks Animation veterans Cameron Hood and Kyle Jefferson are attached to make their feature film directorial debut with Master Mind. Their 2006 animated short film First Flight charmed audiences and critics groups alike. Master Mind will mark the first time Stiller collaborates with DreamWorks Animation in a production capacity, having previously voiced Alex the lion in the global hit Madagascar and in the upcoming Madagascar: The Crate Escape. Schoolcraft & Simons will write the film, with DreamWorks Animation’s Chris Kuser and Red Hour’s Lara Breay overseeing development.
Master Mind is a satirical send-up of the superhero genre, built around the story of a super villain who loses his joie de vivre after accidentally killing his archrival, Uberman, in the opening scene of the movie.
Red Hour’s Ben Stiller commented, “Stuart and Lara and I are really excited to be working with DreamWorks Animation on this project. We all think the script is really smart and really funny. They have put the film on the fast track, which in animation terms means it will be coming out in the next 15 to 20 years.”
DreamWorks Animation C.E.O. Jeffrey Katzenberg added, “We are looking forward to collaborating again with Ben, this time on the production side of things. His creativity and signature sense of humor will lend itself perfectly to this project. As for Cameron Hood and Kyle Jefferson, they are two valued members of our DreamWorks Animation family. Their short ‘First Flight’ was such a beautiful, original piece, and we believe the promise it showed will be on full display in ‘Master Mind.'”
Writers Schoolcraft and Simons are represented by Dan Rabinow at ICM. Red Hour is repped by UTA’s Sharon Sheinwold, and directors Hood and Jefferson by the William Morris Agency and Management 360.
Cameron Hood and Kyle Jefferson made their animation directing debut with First Flight. Both natives of Toronto and graduates of Sheridan College in Ontario, they began their professional careers together at DreamWorks working on the epic film, The Prince of Egypt. Hood and Jefferson continued at the studio, contributing to a variety of animated films such as: The Road to El Dorado, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Shrek, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas and Shark Tale. Prior to working on Sinbad and Shark Tale, they each took a brief hiatus from DreamWorks to pursue other passions. Jefferson worked closely with director Michael Bay building action scene pre-visualizations for Pearl Harbor. Hood worked as an animator on Sony Imageworks’ Stuart Little 2, while also teaching at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects where he currently hosts their best-selling character animation lecture series.